A Fiber-Coupled Stimulated Emission Depletion Microscope for Bend-Insensitive Through-Fiber Imaging

Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 31;9(1):11137. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47319-w.


We present results for a new type of fiber-coupled stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope which uses a single fiber to transport STED and excitation light, as well as collect the fluorescence signal. Our method utilizes two higher-order eigenmodes of polarization maintaining (PM) fiber to generate the doughnut-shaped STED beam. The modes are excited with separate beams that share no temporal coherence, yielding output that is independent of fiber bending. We measured the resolution using 45 nm fluorescent beads and found a median bead image size of 116 nm. This resolution does not change as function of fiber bending radius, demonstrating robust operation. We report, for the first time, STED images of fixed biological samples collected in the epi-direction through fiber. Our microscope design shows promise for future use in super-resolution micro-endoscopes and in vivo neural imaging in awake and freely-behaving animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.